Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Show me the money! Collecting royalties through associations

The Colombian Constitutional Court in a landmark case regarding copyright has held that artists in Colombia are not required to belong to an association in order to collect royalties.
The case refers to the called Fanny Mickey [mentioned last year in this blog], specifically Art 168, paragraph 2, last sentence which establishes the following “ This right of remuneration shall be paid through the collecting societies, formed and developed by performers of audiovisual works and recordings, according to the existing rules on copyright and related rights.”law

According to the decision "the performers of audiovisual works or recordings may exercise their right to payment using distinct collection mechanisms of the collecting society...” The situation is considered due to controversy around collecting societies such as Acinpro and Sayco. Thus, the sentence opens the door to artist to find another way to collect their royalties and so explaining that “limiting the collection of copyright to associations is a disproportionate restriction if one takes into account that there may be artists, performers, or producers who have the means to collect this in any other different way.”

Does the sentence follow the Constitution?
While Art 38 of the Colombia Constitution establishes the 'right of association' it does not establish the contrary. Yet, the Court says that the right to not be associated fits the constitution. According to the Constitutional Court as long as the artists can collect their remuneration rights using different mechanisms to the collecting society, including individual collection, it is appropriate.

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